School age kids have small appetites but great nutritional demands. They need the right nutrients to ensure they grow strong and healthy, and they need energy food to get through their high energy day. Too many calories and too little activity can result in obesity, and the wrong foods can establish bad habits that will impact on their future health throughout their lives.
So what do you do to ensure that every meal counts and healthy snacks are the first choice when your hungry kids come bounding home, Schoolchildren need an energy-packed diet to meet their growth and development needs. The best way to encourage healthy eating for kids is by example. Make sure you always eat healthily and your kids will too.
So ensure they have healthy snacks available, and that the healthy snacks are within easy reach for hungry hands. A bowl containing fresh fruit is a great idea; apples, oranges, bananas and nectarines should be the easiest thing for them to grab. If you have them in the house, then make sure the chocolate and crisps are stored up high and preferably out of sight. Make sure your children have the necessary calcium for healthy bone development, folate for growth, and iron for healthy blood.
Things to avoid are sometimes the hardest, with fatty and sweet snacks the main enemy. Balance is key. Save sweets for an after meal treat, rather than between meals, and always brush teeth regularly, especially before bed.
A daily meal diary would ideally include a fortified cereal and a glass of milk for breakfast; meat and vegetables for the main meals; with snacks of fruit, a piece of cheese and a pot of yogurt throughout the day.